Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Book Reviews 1

These are books I read in the last month or so.

The Order Of The Poison Oak by Brent Hartinger

Russel Middlebrook an openly gay High School student and tired of all the attention. He hopes for a nice quiet summer job. Instead he ends up as a camp counselour working with burn survivors. He also meets some interesting guys and falls in love. There is also an adventure element when he has to deal with a forest fire.

I enjoyed reading about Russel in Geography Club and was looking forward to this book. I wasn't disappointed. Hartinger mixes humour and serious issues in a nice way and gives us real characters we can identify with.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting a story dealing with relationships, friends, and growing up.

Raising The Stones by Sheri S Tepper

This is a science fiction novel about how various people in different societies interact and how they change when "gods" are raised. There is a lot going on in this novel: war, betrayal, family issues, religious conversion, and more.

I first read this book years ago and remembered the wonderful ideas it presented. When I reread it I got caught up in the idea of a religion whose "gods" really did make people nicer and more peaceful.

This book is full of ideas and easy to read.

Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

Grady West is a sixteen year old boy who is raped by two men. He becomes withdrawn and isolated. He changes schools and leaves his old life behind. He encounters an African American student named Jess who has a big mouth and a bigger attitude. Grady would like to stay invisible but Jess won't let him. Grady's friendship with Jess slowly allows him to confront his past and start dealing with various issues.

There is a lot of humour in the book as well as some tough questions and concepts. Parts of the book are intense, but it wasn't as tough to read as I thought it would be. The author handles the story quite well.

I really enjoyed this book. The story is interesting and the characters intriguing. It was easy to read and I finished it in one day.

Time's Eye by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter

Strange alien spheres show up in different parts of the world and transform it. Time is mixed up and UN peacekeepers team up with nineteenth century British troops and Alexander the Great to fight Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes.

There are lots of ideas at play in this novel but this doesn't hamper the storytelling. There isn't a lot of human drama but there's enough to give the characters reasonable motivations and individuality.

I enjoyed the book and may read the sequel.

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